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Constitutional Law

Oklahoma turns woman’s miscarriage into a miscarriage of justice

Two weeks ago Brittney Poolaw, a 20-year-old Native American woman from Comanche County in Oklahoma, was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree for experiencing a miscarriage at 17 weeks. Her trial lasted one day after which she was sentenced to 4 years in state prison. In January of last year, Ms. Poolaw experienced a miscarriage and […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Fed Ct: Officer Immune for Arresting Florida Man with “I Eat Ass” Bumper Sticker on His Truck

In a funny-not-funny example of the wide berth given to police officers under the qualified immunity doctrine, a Federal Court in Florida dismissed a wrongful arrest suit brought by Dillon Webb after he was arrested for displaying an “I Eat Ass” bumper sticker on his truck. Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was stopped on a highway […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Can a Judge Require a Defendant to Get Vaccinated? Some are.

The NY Times reported yesterday that a State judge and a Federal Judge made getting a vaccine a requirement to a deal with criminally accused person appearing before them. In the Bronx, State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Zimmerman was taking the guilty plea of a man accused of drug crimes, trespass, criminal contempt, and shoplifting. […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Nassau Bill to Add 1st Responders as “Protected Class” is a Bad, Bad Idea

Tomorrow at the Nassau County Legislature, legislators will be debating an expansion of the County Human Rights Law. Now it took decades to get them to add Sexual Orientation to the list of protected classes so maybe they were finally getting around to adding Transgender as a protected class? Nope. Instead, four Democrats ae spearheading a […]

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Constitutional Law

Cosby Reversal Not a Vindication for Him

Online commentators and graduates of Twitter law school are screaming that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s overturning of the sexual assault conviction of Bill Cosby is a blow to the #MeToo movement and an insult to the women who came forward to testify and accuse him. While it certainly must be seen by those women as […]

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Constitutional Law

SCOTUS Gives Students Big Win in 1st Am. Case

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former high school cheerleader who argued that she should not be punished by her public school for posting a profanity-laced caption on Snapchat when she was off school grounds. The case involving a Pennsylvania teenager was closely watched to see how the court would balance the free speech rights […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Decision on Juveniles is Harsh and Wrong on Many Levels

Where to begin with a discussion on SCOTUS’ 6-3 decision in Jones v. Mississippi that effectively reinstated Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP or LWOP hereafter)? Do I point out that its author Brett Kavanaugh wept crocodile tears before Congress about how mean they were to hold him accountable for actions and indiscretions he did as […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Quirky Minn. Law Comes Back to Bite Officer Chauvin’s Defense

It’s an old legal adage and one of my favorites in law that “Bad Cases Make Bad Law.” While the phrase has been interpreted a variety of ways for me its meant that cases that arise out of extreme examples or unique situations often end up creating a law either from judicial decisions or by […]

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Constitutional Law Employment Law

SCOTUS dissent is message to reverse Church/State law

The Supreme Court deciding not to hear a case is a regular occurrence. Getting SCOTUS to hear a case is exceedingly hard, and as Chief Justice, John Roberts has shrunk the Court docket to 1960s numbers. But what seems like a quiet little denial of certiorari yesterday is actually a not-so-cryptic message from the right […]